driving footwear

Can the Shoes You Wear Make Driving More Dangerous?

Do you ever think about your shoes before you climb into your car to head to work or run some errands? Most people never give it a second thought, but the shoes that are on your feet can make your driving experience more dangerous. What shoes should you be wearing while you’re driving, and how can your shoe choice make your drive riskier?

Dangerous Kicks

Slippers, heels and flip-flops might bring your outfit together or just be easier to put on than a pair of sneakers, but they can make your driving experience dangerous. Slippers, for example, can fall off and lodge under the gas or brake pedal. Flip-flops can do the same thing. Flip flops are the most dangerous shoes to drive in, and are responsible for more than 1.4 million accidents or near misses every year. One out of 9 drivers reports getting a flip-flop stuck under one of their pedals.

Even dress shoes like heels and wedges can be challenging to drive in. They make it hard to determine exactly how hard you’re pressing on the brake or gas pedal.

Don’t think that you can just kick off your shoes to drive in your bare feet either — it’s just as dangerous. Your feet, without shoes, are more likely to slip off the pedals while you’re trying to drive.  Plus, if you do get into an accident, you will want shoes to protect your feet from broken glass or twisted metal.

Better Options

If bare feet and flip-flops aren’t a good idea, what should you be wearing while you’re driving? You don’t need to spend a ton of money on shoes just for driving. All you need is a good pair of casual closed-toe shoes. What kind of shoes would you usually wear while you’re working on your car? Unless you’re one of those crazy guys who work on cars in flip-flops, your work shoes can also double as driving shoes.

Look for a pair of shoes that offers reliable grip that will keep your feet on the pedals, such as athletic shoes. You also need them that will stay on your feet. They can be slip-on, Velcro or tie shoes, as long as don’t fall off while you’re driving.

When possible, try to find a narrower shoe. Some athletic shoes can be bulky and make it more likely that you’ll hit more than one pedal at the same time. This is where loafers and converse come in handy — they don’t have the extra thick or bulky soles that some running and athletic shoes do.

Work boots, sneakers, loafers or even Converse can make your driving experience safer. Just use your common sense — if you wouldn’t wear your shoes in the garage while you’re working on your car, you probably shouldn’t wear them while you’re driving either.


Scott Huntington is an automotive expert at Off The Throttle. Check him out on Twitter @SMHuntington.

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